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These stories give insight into Mr. Stout's genius, and the method of story-telling in these efforts can be seen refined and shaped into the cohesive universe of the later Nero Wolfe books. Each story presents a character with a quandary, and characters approach their quandaries with emotional depth. Mr. Stout's political interest in World Federalism, which occasionally surfaces in his mysteries, is starkly outlined in the first of these stories.
Although a proto Wolfe/Archie relationship can be found, one can be very grateful that Mr. Stout continued to refine from this first effort. I can hardly imagine an Archie who says to Wolfe, "You're a terrible lawyer, Sir.", although one can see the beginning of the impudence necessary to Archie's character.
These stories, on their own merits, are interesting, engaging, and often quite funny. To someone who enjoys the larger canon of Rex Stout's work, this is a valuable tour to the way he thinks. To everyone else, these stories are simply quite good.
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